Friday, September 8, 2017

"It" is nowhere to be found... not even at night

As much as the late 90s and early 2000s were bombarded by "found footage" horror documentary movies, spawned by the iconic The Blair Witch Project, the last decade or so has seen its share of post-apocalyptic drama/thrillers (The Road, Z for Zachariah, Into the Forest) where few remaining survivors try to thrive in a decimated world where disease has exterminated some 99% of the population.  The latest entry in this already exhausting genre is the underwhelming It Comes at Night, featuring the always engaging Joel Edgerton as Paul, an overprotective man living in a secluded, boarded up house in the middle of the woods with his wife (Carmen Ejogo) and their teenage son (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) after a lethal disease has just taken away his father-in-law, one of many to have succumbed to its curse.

As Paul and his kin welcome a new family of three into their home, issues of mistrust and paranoia raise their ugly heads, creating a somewhat tense environment for the household of six that up until then only housed half that many souls.  Director Trey Edward Shults's well realized initial idea starts off well, but after the half-way point, seeing he's got nowhere to go with his thin premise, he succumbs to the cliched old belief that it's "what you can't see" that terrifies you the most (his movie may, in fact, be the only existing exception to that rule).  The final act is a mess, a poorly set up and handled fiasco that results in more and more poorly conceived chaos, without ever giving the audience the proper pay-off they've been waiting for.  So what comes at night, you may ask?  Absolutely nothing.

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